Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura Group (4 stars)

Satoko Fujii


Jazz Bar, Edinburgh, Tue 17 Jun

This collaboration between the Japanese husband and wife team of pianist Satoko Fujii and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura with a quartet culled from Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra was a bijou precursor to a full GIO blow-out with the pair later in the week at the CCA. It proved to be a remarkable display of quiet virtuosity and low-key inventiveness, and aided and abetted by the twin guitars of George Burt and Neil Davidson, drummer Tom Bancroft and GIO sax stalwart Raymond MacDonald, it’s equally as special.

There’s a richness to Fujii’s keyboard colouring that leaves plenty of space before easing its way into other directions, from pounding escapades to more conventional grooves led by Bancroft. Tamura adds audaciousness and playful bounce, one minute growling into his reed, the next giving it frontline horn section blare with MacDonald. A second set duet between the couple sees the band join in for more laid-back fare. MacDonald’s soprano sax is particularly lush in a night of quietly intense exploration with little bursts of fire.

The Jazz Bar

1 Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1HR

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